The St. Louis Rams made the steal of the NFL Draft in Michael Sam. Sam may be the most scrutinized rookie in NFL history due to his sexual orientation, and will have the opportunity to shift the focus to his on-field play as soon as the season begins.
People fail to realize that Sam was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He is in the same company as Patrick Willis, Jarvis Jones, Patrick Peterson, and Eric Berry, and the majority of the winners of this award ends up producing in the NFL.
Sam is a specialist in rushing the passer, and he had 11.5 sacks during his senior season. That element of his game will translate to the NFL immediately. Head coach Jeff Fisher will place Sam in perfect position to succeed. He will be used at a defensive end position that is already potent with Robert Quinn and Chris Long.
In a league that focus primarily on passing, there is a high probability that the Rams can have Sam, Quinn, and Long on the field at the same time. OTAs are currently underway, and Sam is trying to show that he is more than a possible distraction to his team.
Being that Sam will be a backup, it will lessen the pressure on him to produce immediately. There will always be naysayers talking about Sam no matter what his play looks like on the field, and it is just something that will come along with the territory. The Rams’ pass rush was pretty scary in the 2013 season, and adding Sam to the fold will make things very interesting.